Slugger Pete Alonso has been a bright spot in an otherwise so-so season for the New York Mets. And now he’s broken Major League Baseball’s rookie home run record.
“Polar Bear,” as he’s nicknamed, hit his 53rd home run during Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves. The record-breaking blast came in the third inning against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz.
The fan favorite and 2019 Home Run Derby champion raised his arms to the sky as the ball soared over the wall at New York’s Citi Field. Mets fans gave him a standing ovation as he rounded the bases.
“To be a part of Major League Baseball history, to be number one out of every single guy that ever played the game, it’s humbling and it’s such just a ridiculously awesome feeling,” an emotional Alonso told reporters after the game. “That moment was just pure magic.”
“I didn’t know that I was going to be overcome with all that emotion,” added Alonso, who got teary on the field as fans cheered him. “At that point, might as well just let it out.”
Alonso bested another New York player — Yankees star Aaron Judge — in becoming MLB’s all-time home run leader for rookies. The Yankees outfielder had set the record in 2017 with 52 home runs.
The Mets won Saturday’s game 3-0. Although the team was officially eliminated from postseason contention earlier this week, at least Alonso gave their fans something to celebrate.